“A Willful Child”

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“A Willful Child”


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“A Willful Child”
A story of Betrayals and Beginnings
by Janet Steele Holloway

“Janet Steele Holloway’s debut is as dazzling as the West Virginia countryside she describes. Her father a hardworking coalminer, her granny an unrepentant bootlegger, Holloway remembers a childhood grasping at the shards of a shattering family. She emerges as a young woman ready for anything. This memoir is poignant, brutal, funny, inspired.” – Neil Chethik, author of FatherLoss

“Painful, warm and wise, Janet Steele Holloway’s debut memoir, A Willful Child, vividly portrays a remarkable yet ordinary family whose life is more typical of post-war America than we’d like to think. At the mercy of an unstable, beautiful mother and a coal miner father in the boom-and-bust mountain economy, Holloway’s childhood is spent on the move from coal camp, to her granny’s beer garden, to a farm in southwest Virginia, to both coasts of Florida, and back to the mountains. Billie Brown, her pragmatic bootlegging granny, supplies rootedness, but cannot assuage her own daughter’s restless discontent or shore up the headstrong streak that will become her granddaughter’s greatest strength. A Willful Child shows us how a girl-becoming-a-woman gathers courage, confidence, and wisdom to weave a self from the pieces and places of a fragmented life.” – Leatha Kendrick, author of Second Opinion